Thu. May 19th, 2022

A drunk South Australian man who assaulted a flight attendant while trying to get home before the state closed the border with Victoria was shocked to hear about his “regrettable” actions, a court has heard.

Timothy Kenneth Hawkes, 29, pleaded guilty to abusive and disorderly conduct on a plane and assault on a flight crew member while aboard a Melbourne-to-Adelaide flight in May.

Adelaide Magistrates Court was told Hawkes – who worked as a rescue technician at mining sites – was in Melbourne to train when he was informed that South Australia was closing the border with Victoria.

His lawyer said Hawkes – who suffers from panic attacks – needed to get on a flight quickly and made “a bad decision” to consume most of a bottle of Jack Daniels and a number of beers.

“His memory is to be in the lobby and drink, get on the flight, and then he can remember nothing but being in the guardhouse that was shaken by a police officer to wake up,” the lawyer told the court.

“He is shocked to hear how seriously and regrettably he acted.

The court was told that the victim did not need medical attention after the assault, but had found the incident traumatic.

His lawyer said Hawkes “was not a man of violent disposition, had voluntarily sought treatment for his drinking problems and had good prospects for rehabilitation and staying out of trouble”.

However, the prosecutor said the offense was very serious and should be punished with imprisonment.

“It is very difficult for people affected to be able to move away from the behavior,” the prosecutor told the court.

“It is only fortunate in these circumstances that the passengers who were immediately affected could be moved to other parts of the aircraft.

“If it had been a full plane, it would have been very difficult to know what could have happened under these circumstances.”

Hawkes will be convicted Monday.

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